Shares in Asia-Pacific struggled for direction on Thursday, with major indexes in Japan and mainland China closing flat.
After a troubled start to the week, equities across much of the region have enjoyed healthy gains the past two days as US central bank chiefs looked to temper fears that record-low interest rates and colossal bond-buying were in their final thresholds.
Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed as the Shanghai composite finished the trading day largely flat at around 3,566.29 while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.398% to 14,784.80. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced about 0.2%, as of its final hour of trading.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended the trading day flat at 28,875.23 while the Topix index slipped 0.1% to close at 1,947.10.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3% on the day to 3,286.10. Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.32%, closing at 7,275.30.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.14%.
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 slipped 0.11% to 4,241.84, ending a two-day winning streak. Still, the index sits 0.4% from an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 71.34 points to 33,945.59 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.13% to 14,271.73
“The Fed is still far away from substantial progress with the labour market, so Wall Street should not expect any tapering announcement until after summer is over.” Edward Moya Chief analyst OANDA.
Asian Markets Currencies and Oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.736 after an earlier high of 91.87.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.89 per dollar, having weakened earlier this week from below 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7578, above levels below $0.752 seen earlier in the week.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.37% to $75.47 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.41% to $73.38 per barrel.